Dogs may yet be welcome on ‘Jubilee Field’

PUBLISHED: 09:10 01 August 2013 | UPDATED: 09:10 01 August 2013

Axminster's Jubilee Field gets a much needed mow. Photo by Chris Carson

Axminster's Jubilee Field gets a much needed mow. Photo by Chris Carson

Archant

Area of Axminster’s planned royal park could be set aside for people to exercise their pets

Axminster’s long-awaited ‘Jubilee Field’ may not be a totally dog-free area after all.

Pet owners had been warned that they would be banned from exercising their animals on the former St Mary’s Hospital field when it eventually becomes a local recreation area.

There are plans to turn the land into a leafy park, with seats, and a play area for children, to mark the 60th anniversary of the monarch’s reign.

Mayor Jeremy Walden had said that when the field was formally established as a recreation area dogs would be banned and in the meantime he said current land owners Betterment Homes should be asked to put up signs saying they were not welcome.

“They should not be there,” he said.

But he hinted at a possible compromise after hearing from a local resident at the recent town council meeting.

Speaking during the public forum session at the recent town council meeting local residents Nikki Powell said making it an exclusion zone for dog walkers like her would leave them with nowhere else to go.

“Those who do walk dogs there now are quite prepared to pay for dog poo bins and all the council need to do is put up notices (telling people to pick up after their pets),” she said.

Cllr Walden said the problem was that when the field was finally handed over to the town it would be designated for ‘play and recreation’ and that meant it came under legislation which banned dogs from using.

“But I have suggested we ask East Devon District Council, who would license this area, to see if we can find an area to set aside where people can walk their dogs,” he said.

“You have to have separation because of the legislation. – We do appreciate the offer of dog poo bins and we are happy to make the land useable for as many people as possible under the law. We are not unsympathetic to the needs of the dog walkers.”

Cllr Walden said they were also actively looking at other areas of the town where people could be allowed to walk dogs.”


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